May 26, 2011

Introducing: Gold Leaves – “The Ornament”

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Behold, the mysterious Gold Leaves. Gold Leaves is the new solo project from Grant Olsen (who you most likely know from Arthur and Yu) and they were officially introduced to the internet today by My Old Kentucky Blog. And I’m so glad, because it means I have some concrete evidence as to what I’ve been so enamored with these past few months.

“The Ornament”, the first single off the debut album due out August 16th on Hardly Art, is all sunny symphonic backing with Olsen’s ragged smooth voice front and center joined by the layered harmonies of label-mates The Moondoggies. There’s an easy wiseness to Olsen’s voice, lyrics and the album’s orchestration. With ’60s psychedelic soul flourishes, these songs sound both charmingly retro and incredibly of the moment. Were I to compare it to anyone, I’d say Gold Leaves sound like Fleet Foxes recording Helplessness Blues on a budget, which is by no means a slight. The songs are more restrained, but still full and wild, with more hazy doo-wop than hymnal harmonies. It is an intoxicating mix and a perfect soundtrack for the golden hours of summer.

Take a listen for yourself:

Gold Leaves – “The Ornament”

(Courtesy of Hardly Art you can right click that glorious mp3 and keep it for yourself!)

Your first chance to hear more of these songs and to see the band live is June 10th at Neumos, where Gold Leaves will be opening for Grand Hallway and Campfire OK.

April 4, 2011

My Most Played: March 2011

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Robin Pecknold with Edward Droste – “I’m Losing MyselfZoe MuthStarlight Hotel (out: 4/19) Radiation City – The Hands That Take You Posse Every Mississippi Records LP I can get my hands on Night of the Living Vinyl Mix Amy Blaschke The Golden Blondes Damien Jurado – Four Songs (EP) Gene Clark – White Light (LP) Smokey Brights ::M∆DE::IN::HEIGHTS:: – Skylark Interbang The Head and The Heart – Fuel/Friends Chapel Session Karen Dalton – It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best (LP) Bill Callahan – “Baby’s Breath” Shabazz Palaces – “An Echo From the Hosts That Profess InfinitumThe Lonely Forrest – Arrows Dillard & Clark – “Don’t Let Me Down” Pickwick – Myths Vol III (EP) Strong Killings

March 25, 2011

What I’m Loving Right Now: Amy Blaschke

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Amy Blaschke ::: iphone photo by Abbey Simmons

Over the sounds of screaming, foaming milk at Cafe Fiore last night, one-time-local and now Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, Amy Blaschke managed to transcend the unconventional venue and give me some serious goosebumps. Her delicate, down-trodden songs and voice and its emotional affect most reminded me of Karen Dalton, though her traditional folk styling and sky-scraping cedar harmonies could easily garner comparisons to a female Robin Pecknold. On our walk back to the car through a Ballard downpour, Josh compared Blaschke’s voice to a “less excitable Joni Mitchell.”

Whatever great vocalist she most reminds you of, Blaschke’s simple songs stand on their own. They are tunes you’ll find yourself quietly humming in the morning as you wake or sneaking into your dreams as you fall to sleep. While they aren’t hooky ear-worms, her minor chords haunt and hang in your head the way only the best sad songs and worst hangover do. While for now you’ll have to keep content listening to her Reverb Nation page on repeat, Blaschke told the small but attentive audience at Fiore that she’s recording in LA and to look out for a new album out in the next year. I’ll be waiting for it eagerly.

September 30, 2009

Jenny Jimenez at the Skylark Cafe all Autumn

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Now through mid-December, the plush rock photography of Jenny Jimenez will be crowding walls of West Seattle’s Skylark Cafe in a retrospective titled “Show Me Your TIFFs: Ten years of music photography.” In that decade she’s seen the rise of a new identity for the local scene, which she has in turn visualized in an artful and timeless fashion, photographing countless bands both professionally and for the love of it.

Thursday October 8th the Skylark will also play host to an opening party, that will additionally feature some large black and white prints by Jimenez as well as performances by Damien Jurado and Amy Blaschke. In the smaller print on the poster we note a male wet t-shirt contest will be held. Does this mean my growing beer-gut finally help me to win something? Or is that not the kind of cleavage this contest is after?

You can find a selection of the work that’s being showcased in a Seattle Weekly Slideshow. My favorite of hers might just be this Cave Singers album cover shot for Invitation Songs that’s below:


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The Cave Singers by Jenny Jimenez

“Show Me Your TIFFs” runs through December 14th.